Delk Gets Message, Leads Louisville Past Cincinnati

Some teams get it right away. Others take a while, like the current University of Louisville basketball team, some 20 games into the season, grasping that defense is key to being competitive, maintaining a lead, or having a chance to win.

Or maybe it just takes Rick Pitino a little longer to get through to people, with all the motivating, the generalizing, and the pontificating. He often does the exact opposite of what he says he’s going to do, what analysts or fans expect him to do, or what logic dictates needs to be done.

One has to wonder if even his players are trying to figure what he really means sometimes.

Maybe the direct approach is the most effective, like the one with Reginald Delk, telling him that he has to become more active, play defense, go after rebounds. This Louisville team can’t afford someone whose only contribution is being a spot-up shooter, interested only in his next shot. Get involved or get lost, in essence.

Delk chose to get involved against Cincinnati, becoming a significant factor in the outcome, putting the clamps on Lance Stephenson after he had scored 12 of his team’s first 16 points. That would be it, zilch the rest of the way. Delk would go on to collect his first double-double, contributing 13 points, getting 10 rebounds, a blocked shot, and an assist.

Delk said after the game the reason he transferred to Louisville was that Pitino would make him a better player.  Never too late for that to happen, even if it is his last semester of college basketball.

Louisville-Cincinnati Box Score

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “Delk Gets Message, Leads Louisville Past Cincinnati

  • January 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm
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    If this is a turning point for Reggie, if he is committed to other phases of the game, it could mean a lot to this team the rest of the way. The guy has started a lot of games but rarely contributed much. He was in for such a short period of time that he was pretty unrecognizable to many fans. Better late than never.

  • January 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm
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    Amen on the Delk defensive job on Stephenson. Looks like a Hatzell moment in waiting for the Cards but Reginald stood up big. Also kudos to the clutch knock down, falling out of bounds and absolutely needed three when the Bearcats had shaved it to two.

    Some down time for the Cards now…who need “seven out of eleven” according to Rick’s latest prediction.

    Sounds like he has a Horseshoe or Belterra trip planned. Better take his lucky charm, Reginald Delk to the table with him.

  • January 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm
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    I hate to throw cold water on a good win but remember please that this is a team who has a number of players who are wildly inconsistant, who rarely can put together good back to back games. I hope that problem disappears.

    I also want to point out something that may well be overlooked. This game was played with an eight man rotation, not nine or ten or eleven or twelve. Rick shortened his rotation and stayed with whoever was playing well instead of subbing every three minutes regardless. I have to believe this is to the betterment of the team in as much as the guys who were playing well got comfortable and played within rhythm instead of going in, coming out, going in, coming out and never getting comfortable and confident. Perhaps if he stays with a shorter rotation we’ll see more players putting together good back to back game.

  • January 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm
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    Delk proved to be serious and the never short for an answer Rick –well… I have lost interest in listening to his pre and post game interviews. He says basically the same thing with a few adjustments. I hate to say it but I think the Coach is on overload. I don’t see him as a coach but more as a product of the media…
    he seems almost programmed for the camera and looks ill.
    I think this team and season has him doing some real teaching and mentoring maybe some reflection. Belterra Paul- right on!

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